Alkek Library. Photo by Daryan Jones

The Many Layers of Alkek Library

by Daniela Garcia
Web Content Contributor

Alkek Library. Photo by Daryan Jones
Photo by Daryan Jones

Floor One. No, not the one you came in through. It’s the basement that rests below the buzzing activity of the main floor, Here you’ll find several rooms and sections you may never need to visit. However, there’s one in particular that holds a lounge with two food vending machines and three or four soda machines. There’s a microwave that sits in a quiet corner privately popping someone’s popcorn.

Floor Two. It’s the one with big, wide room where you’ll see Rusty, one of security guards monitoring activity at his podium close to the entrance. You’ll see computers to your left and your right, and one scanner to the far left corner excitedly waiting to assist the line of students holding texts to scan.  In the hidden south right corner behind the stairwell you’ll find yourself the Commons room, whom anyone, even folks who aren’t affiliated with Texas State can reserve for group meetings. There’s an array of six elevators that can take you back down to the basement with the vending machines and microwave.

Floor Three. Most people confuse this floor for the second floor with the lonely eager scanner and the reservable cornered Common Room. Now you’re aware of the basement with the microwave in the lounge and the popping corn that is the first floor. Here on this floor you’ll find constructions in its corners. Beware, but don’t be too wary. To your right when coming up the marble steps or the elevators you will find the juvenile collection with Harry Potter, The Rainbow Fish, and The Giving Tree. You’ve probably read these before. Do you remember?

Next to this collection sits the ever-growing DVD collection. Yes, DVDs! Students check out up to four. You grab the movies of your choice and bring them up to the counter of this floor where someone will provide you with the discs. They will ask you for your ID- any government-issued ID will suffice for any check-out process- and provide you with a due date sticker.

If you don’t hold interest in this right portion of our Juvenile, TCMC, DVDs, Kits or Games, Dye-Cut Copy Machine, Scanner, Microfilm reader, Microfilm itself, Copier, Small Televisions, DVD players or VHS players section to our right, perhaps you’ll take interest to the section to your left. Here you have access to three computers and a printer.

Further down you will notice Current Periodicals. In other words, magazines of different sorts rest here. They don’t rest all of the time. Feel free to use these here. Seats and some coffee tables have been placed in the center for your convenience.

Nearby sit the most up-to-date newspapers by different newspaper publishers stamped in red to not be taken from the third floor. Further down stand the two graphic novels shelves that are now introducing themselves to a graciously donated manga collection. Hello friends, they say. Welcome.

Past this section, it may get quieter. Bound periodicals form a colorful array of once current periodicals then bound to create one hardback, or several. Several inches thick sometimes you’ll see they are. Flustered with the weight but enthused of the information you’ll be yourself. Make sure you bring the books you kind of want to leave on the shelf up to the desk instead for internal count use. Statistics are being taken. Thank you.

Fourth Floor. Student Learning and Assistance Center. This is one floor up above the Rainbow fish, two floors above the eager scanner, and three floors above the microwave. The SLAC lab is here as well as many computers at your convenience. Sessions are often held here. Compact shelving creates convenient spacing of things not sought to be discarded. Maps & Government Documents can be requested as well. Every corner is quite contrasting from the other.

Fifth Floor. Sssh. You won’t find much assistance here. One floor below pace the busy session leaders and borrowed paper maps. Two floors down swims the Rainbow Fish somewhere beside the Giving Tree. Three floors down sits the eager scanner and reflections shift of the many passers bys. Four floors down is the basement with the quiet private corner popping someone’s midday popcorn.  Walk the floor calmly, browsing authors with last name A-J. Quiet soothes the focused minds.

Sixth Floor. You’re still in a silent room with the occasional hush and rush of raising voices. Slip through the halls of the shelves eyeing authors last names K-Q. Remember, one floor down is yet another quiet floor with authors last name A-J while two floors down contrasts a busy group of session leaders and borrowed paper maps. Three floors down has corners in construction going on around the Rainbow Fish that swims beside the Giving Tree.

Seventh Floor. This is the last stop before your last stop. You will be greeted by a warm smile at the desk of Special Collections, and the Wittliff Gallery. Wander through the remaining call numbers of R-Z. Step inside the elevators and take a last look at the friendly smile of the Special Collections before you descend past the quiet floor of authors last names K-Q, then authors last name A-J, followed by the borrowed paper maps that travel above the Rainbow fish that swims above the eager scanner which sits above the microwave of the basement. Come back up one floor, you’ve made it out the door  where you’ll become a swift shifting reflection.

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